Harford Historical Society plans special open house Jan. 18

The Historical Society of Harford County will open its doors on Saturday, Jan. 18, to share it rich collections detailing the history of the county.

The special open house, called "History on Parade," will present an extensive collection of authors, books, pamphlets, artwork, videos, playbills and experts that are all available to anyone interested in almost any aspect of life in Harford County, explains Larry Carmichael, the Historical Society's publicity chairman.

"History on Parade" will run from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the society's headquarters at 143 N. Main St. in Bel Air. There is no admission charge.

Several authors of the society's quarterly Harford Historical Bulletin will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about the subjects they have researched and written about, including Harford in the Civil War; the Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal; historic bridges, churches, barns and railroad; the Booth Family of Harford County; desegregation of Harford's public schools; biographical studies of prominent citizens and the history of horse racing in Havre de Grace and Bel Air.

"Our bulletins are in-depth studies of individual subjects thoroughly researched and documented," Carmichael said.

One such bulletin, published in the winter of 2013, examines the papers of Henry Richardson, journals and other recollections written in the two decades before the Civil War, which describes Harford County life in detail during the Antebellum period. The journals were transcribed by John H. Rouse, a Richardson descendant, who was given them by his grandmother – Henry Richardson's niece, who was a longtime Bel Air resident. The bulletin contains an introduction by frequent contributor Jim Chrismer. The Richardson journals were donated to the society in 2008.

In addition to the many past Harford Historical Bulletin authors expected to attend, Joe Swisher, of Aberdeen, will be present to discuss and review his excellent video series 'Historic Harford," a series that uses oral history to bring interesting Harford County subjects to life, Carmichael said.

The Historical Society has an extensive collection of photos of Harford County dating back decades.

"If you are looking for a specific photo or subject, want something to decorate your business or just enjoy old photos, this display will meet your needs," Carmichael said.

"Finally," he continued, "we will have displays of playbills from Booth Family performances, local artwork and large hanging posters that provide thumbnail sketches of the culture, economy and history of Harford County."

Books and photos will be available for sale during the special open house. Additional information can be found at http://www.harfordhistory.org.

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